Canada is losing its appeal for Chinese immigrants, while the number of newcomers from India is on the rise.
Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, reportedly in possession of some internal documents, was quoted as saying by the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that China is not going to be Canada's top source country, contrary to popular perception.
"The supertanker has turned away from our shore," Kurland told the newspaper.
"In 2004, the Canadian mission in New Delhi received 88,383 immigration applications, which went up to 109,632 in April 2005, then jumped to 132,693 in June of this year. Whereas during the same period the Canadian missions in Beijing and Hong Kong received 86,514 applications, which fell to 66,315 in 2005 and slid to 52,578 by June this year," he said.
"In 2005, about 42,000 immigrants Chinese arrived in Canada, followed by 33,000 from India, and the Philippines came a distant third with about 18,000," Kurland added.
"China's interest in Canada as a place to live is on the decline." Kurland told the National Post newspaper in a separate interview.
He said the change had been triggered by increased economic opportunity in booming China and fallout from the change in the points system in 2002 that gave French and English language speaking applicants easier access to Canada.
A Canadian Immigration department spokesperson Marina Wilson confirmed the new trend, according to the Ottawa Citizen.